Political Instability Poses Threat To Economic Security
Michael Spence makes the case that “political insecurity, potential conflict, and deteriorating international relations pose a greater threat to economic progress” than the hangover from the financial crisis of 2008.
“The Middle East, meanwhile, has entered a period of extreme instability that will surely have negative economic effects both regionally and globally. And the tug of war between Russia and the West over Ukraine and other former Soviet satellites will adversely affect European regional stability, energy security, and economic growth,” he says in Project Syndicate.
Ebola Virus Requires Concerted Global Effort
With the news that two American (and one Liberian) doctors have contracted the ebola virus, there is growing concern among health officials about the spread of the deadly virus.
Editors at Bloomberg News rightly note there is a “reservoir of talent elsewhere in Africa — the doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, lab technicians and administrators in Uganda, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon who have been through this and know how to handle Ebola,” but a larger-scale effort is needed.
“International donors such as the U.S. and the European Union could help fund and provision the African teams. They could enlist the help of international mining companies present in Guinea, which have certainly extracted value from these countries and have both a humanitarian and an economic interest in stability and ending the epidemic,” they argue.
They state that it is “crucial” that European Union members to “enact the full range of measures to put a crimp in the Russian economy” and, should it become necessary, to broaden them.
“To achieve deterrence, it is imperative that Europe act together and dispense with national selfishness. As long as France continues to insist on delivering warships to the Russians and the British continue coveting profits earned from Russian oligarchs, the EU will be unable to impress Putin. Germany’s government and business leaders deserve praise for their willingness to support severe penalties — even though they are sure to hurt German exports,” they assert.
The Consequences Of Disengagement
Fred Hiatt of The Washington Post offers a partial defense of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy by contending that the chaos in the world today. Well, it is kind of a defense.
Hiatt ticks through Obama’s actions in the Middle East and toward Russia, but then asserts Obama saw the “tumult in Egypt and elsewhere was a distraction, not a once-in-a-generation opportunity” to which the “West responded timidly and inconsistently, and the moment was lost.”
Oddly, in a column which began stating that Obama is not at fault, Hiatt concludes:
“But we can see what followed each of those strategic choices. Obama thought he could engineer a cautious, modulated retreat from U.S. leadership. What we have gotten is a far more dangerous world.”